Auctioneers were surprised to see an item of Chinese pottery, which was valued at around £30, make £10,000 at a Melton sale.
The piece, believed to date back to the 15th century, wasn’t originally thought to be valuable when it was examined during a house clearance.
But an auction at Shouler’s, in the town, saw it realise an impressive price, thousands of pounds more than expected.
Simon Shouler, of Shouler & Son, told the Melton Times: “It came from a house clearance in the Soar valley, where a national auction house had done a probate valuation and removed the good stuff to their salerooms.
“It was a blue and white bowl, six inches wide, with a long crack in one side.
“It had the marks for the 15th century Emperor Cheng Hua, but they were imitated a lot in the time of 17th century Emperor Kang Hsi.
“Whatever the truth of its age, it was clearly perceived to be a thing of great beauty, and appealed to the Chinese trade.”
The surprise auction price follows a similar occurence in December 2017 when Shoulers sold a small 18th century Chinese blue and white vase belonging to a local resident for just over £47,000 when it was expected to fetch much less.